- Arnold, R., van Teijlingen, E., Ryan, K., Holloway, I. (2018) Parallel worlds: an ethnography of care in an Afghan maternity hospital, Social Science & Medicine 126:33-40.
From educational toys to governmental guidelines and detailed nursery progress reports, there are lots of resources available to help parents track and facilitate their children’s development. But while there are tricks we can use to teach children to talk, count, draw or respect others, a surprisingly big part of how they develop is determined by the culture they grow up in.
Child development is a dynamic, interactive process. Every child is unique in interacting with the world around them, and what they invoke and receive from others and the environment also shapes how they think and behave. Children growing up in different cultures receive specific inputs from their environment. For that reason, there’s a vast array of cultural differences in children’s beliefs and behaviour.
Language is one of the many ways through which culture affects development. We know from research on adultsthat languages forge how people think and reason. Moreover, the content and focus of what people talk about in their conversations also vary across cultures. As early as infancy, mothers from different cultures talk to their babies differently. German mothers tend to focus on their infants’ needs, wishes or them as a person. Mothers of the African tribal group Nso, on the other hand, focus more on social context. This can include the child’s interactions with other people and the rules surrounding it.
This early exposure affects the way children attend to themselves or to their relationship with others – forming their self image and identity. For example, in Western European and North American countries, children tend to describe themselves around their unique characteristics – such as “I am smart” or “I am good at drawing”. In Asian, African, Southern European and South American countries, however, children describe themselves more often around their relationship with others and social roles. Examples of this include “I am my parents’ child” or “I am a good student”.
Because children in different cultures differ in how they think about themselves and relate to others, they also memorise events differently. For example, when preschoolers were asked to describe a recent special personal experience, European-American children provided more detailed descriptions, recalled more specific events and stressed their preferences, feelings and opinions about it more than Chinese and Korean children. The Asian children instead focused more on the people they had met and how they related to themselves.
Parents in different cultures also play an important role in moulding children’s behaviour and thinking patterns. Typically, parents are the ones who prepare the children to interact with wider society. Children’s interaction with their parents often acts as the archetype of how to behave around others – learning a variety of socio-cultural rules, expectations and taboos. For example, young children typically develop a conversational style resembling their parents’ – and that often depends on culture.
European-American children frequently provide long, elaborative, self-focused narratives emphasising personal preferences and autonomy. Their interaction style also tends to be reciprocal, taking turns in talking. In contrast, Korean and Chinese children’s accounts are usually brief, relation-oriented, and show a great concern with authority. They often take a more passive role in the conversations. The same cultural variations in interaction are also evident when children talk with an independent interviewer.
Cultural differences in interactions between adults and children also influence how a child behaves socially. For instance, in Chinese culture, where parents assume much responsibility and authority over children, parents interact with children in a more authoritative manner and demand obedience from their children. Children growing up in such environments are more likely to comply with their parents’ requests, even when they are reluctant to do so.
By contrast, Chinese immigrant children growing up in England behave more similarly to English children, who are less likely to follow parental demands if unwilling.
As the world is getting increasingly globalised, knowledge regarding cultural differences in children’s thinking, memory and how they interact with adults has important practical implications in many areas where you have to understand a child’s psychology. For instance, teachers may need to assess children who come from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Knowing how children coming from a different culture think and talk differently can help the teacher better interview them as part of an oral academic test, for example.
Another important area is forensic investigations. Being aware that Chinese children tend to recall details regarding other people and be brief in their initial response to questions may enable the investigator to allow more time for narrative practice to prepare the child to answer open-ended questions and prompt them with follow up questions.
Also, knowing that Chinese children may be more sensitive and compliant to authority figures – and more obedient to a perpetrator within the family – an interviewer may need to spend more time in building rapport to help the child relax and reduce their perceived authority. They should also be prepared to be patient with reluctance in disclosing abuse within families.
While children are unique and develop at their own pace, the cultural influence on their development is clearly considerable. It may even affect how quickly children reach different developmental milestones, but research on this complicated subject is still inconclusive. Importantly, knowledge about cultural differences can also help us pin down what all children have in common: an insatiable curiosity about the world and a love for the people around them.
Did you know that government departments publish their areas of research interest? This is a guide to where research funds might go, and is useful if you are thinking about policy impact.
The collection is here, and four new ones have been added today:
The DCMS one says “It is designed to encourage researchers and academics to explore those topics that could be of benefit to DCMS and our sectors and act as a starting point for future collaboration.”
I have recently read a couple of interesting reports on research cultures within universities and what makes a high-performing research unit.
The first of these is a King’s College London report commissioned by HEFCE issued in November 2015 ‘Characteristics of high-performing research units‘ and the second is a BIS report issued in 2014 ‘Economic Insight: Growing the best and the brightest‘.
Both analysis identify the following:
Please do read the documents above if you would like more information on how the key factors were determined.
RKEO’s Delivery Plan is currently being finalised with UET. The plan identifies that research funding is crucial for building a sustainable research base and enhancing the vitality and sustainability of the research environment. We will be working with the Faculties to support the development of high-performing research teams and to support BU with mechanisms and requirements for building a successful research culture. This will also be supported by the new and improved RKE Development Framework (to be launched this summer). A variety of opportunities will be available, which will include greater access to targeted bid writers, proof-reading services, and stronger direction to strategically important funding options. We will organise activities to facilitate collaboration and networking both internally and externally with academic and non-academic partners. Keep an eye on the research blog for further information.
In the meantime, don’t forget it is BRAD week next week. Click here to see what training and development opportunities are available to you.
Tuesday 26 January 2016
Written and Directed by Professor Erik Knudsen
PG16, Talbot Campus, 16:00-18:00
In the midst of separation, one boy’s silent longing has the power to change everything.
On his ninth birthday, Thomas travels with his mother to visit his estranged father who, since an acrimonious divorce, has abandoned urban living in favour of an isolated rural life in the English Lake District. The bitter separation of his parents is not something Thomas understands, nor does he understand his own dysfunctional behaviour as a silent cry for help. As a digital native city boy, Thomas’s encounter with the natural world, and his gradual understanding of the pivotal connection he provides for his, ultimately, lonely parents, leads to realisation and discovery. There are things his parents don’t know about each other that only he can reveal. Perhaps he has the power and the means to change everything. (Fiction: 88 minutes. 2014).
Following the film there will be a Q & A session with the Director.
Thursday 28 January 2016
Coyne Lecture Theatre, Talbot Campus, 16:00-18:00
In 2014, Lizzie Sykes was awarded an Arts Council-funded residency at Mottisfont, a National Trust property and gardens in Hampshire. Mottisfont is a place where artists have met and worked for hundreds of years.
Are You There? is a film made from inside the Mottisfont residence. It is performed by Louise Tanoto, and is a response to how it feels to be alone in the house and to be inescapably linked to it in a private and intimate way; free from expected codes of physical behaviour that such a formal space normally represents.
Following the film there will be a chance for a Q&A session
Friday 29 January 2016
Allesbrook Theatre, Talbot Campus, 17.30 – 18.30
BU’s Emerge Research Centre has a research music performing group, a creative space where each person develops their own instruments and music based on personal research into sound as well as gesture and technology as part of their creative practice.
The experimental music and sound-art event features a soundtrack of electronic atmospheres, noisescapes, pulses and rhythms, tones and drones. It will include an exploration of hardware-hacked devices, simple electronic instruments, data networks and basic sensors to augment and inform laptop improvisations, immersive fixed-media soundscapes and live visuals.
Anna Troisi, http://www.annatroisi.org/
Antonino Chiaramonte, http://www.antoninochiaramonte.eu/
Rob Canning, http://rob.kiben.net/
Bill Thompson, www.billthompson.org
Ambrose Seddon, http://www.ambroseseddon.com/
Tom Davis, http://www.tdavis.co.uk/
Visuals by Kavi, https://vimeo.com/user324972
Click on the event titles above to book your tickets.
Following the high profile visit to the UK by President Xi Jinping, much is being said in the press about the impact on the UK economy. Some of this will, undoubtedly, relate to the research sector. For example, according to this report on GOV.UK, more than £2 billion of healthcare trade deals and collaborations have been signed between Chinese and UK companies, universities and organisations during President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Britain.
Similarly, a £325 million suite of creative and technology partnerships has been announced – these partnerships, encompassing film, TV, music and advanced engineering, will develop innovative new technologies in cutting-edge facilities in both the UK and China.
To find out more, look at the press releases search on GOV.UK. You can also search for other international activity by selecting the country of interest.
The Guardian has provided a summary of trade announcements made during President Xi Jinping’s visit, which includes the creative industries and cultural exchanges.
If you would like to find research opportunities, make use of BU’s subscription to ResearchProfessional.
Watch this space for further blog posts on international research, including China.
A new report, published today, addresses the challenge that cultural institutes face when trying to capture the full value of their work to individuals in society. Commissioned by the AHRC’s Cultural Value Project and using two of the UK premier cultural institutions, the Natural History Museum (NHM) and Tate Liverpool (TL), the report explores alternative approaches and practical evaluation techniques to measuring the value of culture.
The report addresses an evidence gap as far as cultural policy is concerned and has the potential to bring quantitative economic techniques to policy debates which, say the authors of the report, have been “fragmented and curiously ungrounded in empirical evidence”.
View the AHRC press release and link to the report here and find out more.
Published research in the Journal for the Royal Society of Medicine Open (JRSM Open for short), conducted by Professor Colin Pritchard and Andrew Harding in HSC, is today (Friday 02/05/14) the focus of an article in the Independent newspaper.
After the Francis Report into the scandal at Mid Staffordshire lay considerable blame at the Board for failing to tackle “…an insidious culture…focused on doing the system’s business – not that of the patient…”, Professor Pritchard and Andrew Harding looked at the occupational backgrounds of non executive directors (NEDs) of 146 NHS acute trusts (n=1,001 NEDs). The NHS is modelled on corporate governance, where a board of directors are scrutinised and held to account by non executive directors.
Considering NEDs principle task is to hold the executive, and thus the NHS, to account, the study found a shocking lack of non executive directors with medical, clinical or patient representation or background. As the Independent headline indicates, only 8% of non executive board members were healthcare professionals. Instead, it was far more prevalent and common for non executive directors to be from a commercial, or financial background – with a high proportion having been employed or current employees of major financials firms such as Deloite, KPMG, Grant Thornton, Merrill Lynch, Price-WaterHouse Coopers and JP Morgan. Females NEDs and those from ethnic minorities were also found to be in short supply.
For a full breakdown of the findings the article can be found, and is openly available here.
The Doctor, his TARDIS-driven adventures, along with companions and iconic monsters, are all over the TV and newspapers. The Inner World of Doctor Who is a new book, just out. Written by Prof Mike Rustin (UEL, Tavsitock Clinic) and Prof. Iain MacRury in the Media School here at BU. This publication offers an accessible account of Doctor Who. It focusses just on the most recent television output – 2005 to 2013 – and examines why the show continues to fascinate us.
The Doctor’s relationships with his companions are to the fore. Various chapters also consider the dramatic meanings of monsters and time travel – linking the show back to ideas about audience experience – and what we might ‘learn’ from Doctor Who. It looks at the complexity of the new Doctor Who in its depictions of the suffering of the Doctor, as well that of his at times vulnerable and dependent companions. A connection is made between TV content and some (but not all) elements in the experience of psychotherapy.
We propose that one way of thinking about the Doctor is to see him as a kind of inadvertent ‘therapist’ – with the TV dramas on screen rendering troubled states of mind and society within a rich cultural frame. Doctor Who extends a fairy-tale and children’s fictional tradition across its contemporary media platforms. As we argue: In Doctor Who everyday life is often revealed to be “Bigger on the inside.”
The 50th anniversary won’t come again and it provided a chastening deadline we’re glad to have met it! The book was inspired by the startling success of the show in recent years. Why does it attract such attention and affection? While thinking about it I got further daily encouragement from the TARDIS that sits on the ground floor of Weymouth House, courtesy of our former Media School colleague, Dr Andrew Ireland.
The Inner World of Doctor Who is published with Karnac books. It should be of interest to diehard fans. But it is written, too, for people who probably wouldn’t claim the title ‘fan’ but for whom all the fuss about Time Lords and Tardises just now (The Doctor is even on postage stamps!) is provoking the thought: “What’s this all about!?” The Inner World of Doctor Who offers some answers.
– Written with a colleague, Prof. Mike Rustin, from UEL and the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust the book emerges from an enriching collaboration that began in some teaching sessions at the Tavistock clinic on their MA in Psychoanalytic Studies. It has now developed into this book. The book came together quite quickly and has been usefully supported by an AHRC funded network called “Media and the Inner World”. The book is published as part of their new series with Karnac called Psychoanalysis and Popular Culture.
If you are interested the book can be found at http://www.karnacbooks.com/Product.asp?PID=34857 or as an e-book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Inner-World-Doctor-Psychoanalytic-Psychoanalysis/dp/1782200835
Implementation of 2020 EU Biodiversity Strategy: The European Commission, Directorates-General for the Environment/Climate Action, has published a call for tenders for the implementation of the 2020 EU biodiversity strategy: priorities for the restoration of ecosystems and their services in the EU. The aim is to provide support in relation to Action 6a of the EU biodiversity strategy. Target 6a concerns the development of a strategic framework to set priorities for restoration at subnational, national and EU levels.
EU–Chile Co-operation on Regional Innovation Systems: The European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional Policy, has published a call for tenders for the EU–Chile co-operation on regional innovation systems in the framework of regional policy.In the framework of its dialogues on regional policy with countries outside the European Union, the Directorate-General for Regional Policy is keen to share its experience on European regional policy by offering technical assistance, training and expert advice related to specific regional development’s interests raised by their external partners.
The intention is to organise a twinning exercise and a training programme to support officials responsible for regional innovation systems in Chile.
EU–Latin America Co-operation on Cross-Border Co-operation: The European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional Policy, has published a call for tenders for the EU–Latin America co-operation on cross-border co-operation in the framework of regional policy. In the framework of its dialogues on regional policy with countries outside the European Union (EU), the Directorate-General for Regional Policy is keen to share its experience on European regional policy by offering a mix of information sessions and study visits related to specific regional development’s interests raised by their external partners. The intention is to organise up to two information sessions in Europe for Latin American participants and two workshops in Latin America.
EU–China Regional Policy Dialogue: The European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional Policy, has published a call for tenders for the EU–China regional policy dialogue. In the framework of its dialogues on regional policy with third countries, the Directorate-General for Regional Policy is keen to share its experience on European regional policy by offering a mix of information sessions and study visits related to specific regional development’s interests raised by our external partners. The intention is to organise two information sessions in Europe for Chinese participants, followed by two seminars in China and four targeted information sessions in Europe for small groups of Chinese participants.
Preparatory Action on Culture in External Relations: The European Commission, Directorate-General for Education and Culture, has published a call for tenders for the provision of a preparatory action on culture in external relations. The overall objective to which the contract will contribute is to support ongoing policy reflection and development on strengthening the role of culture in external relations and to nurture future work in this area. In particular, it should contribute to formulating recommendations for a strategy on culture in European external relations.
Civil Justice: To improve contacts, exchange of information and networking between legal, judicial and administrative authorities and the legal professions. There is some scope to support judicial training.
Competitiveness & Innovation: To enhance competitiveness and innovation capacity in the EU, to advance the knowledge society and to ensure secure, sustainable energy for Europe. 3 Sub-programmes i) Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (EIP) ii) ICT Policy Support Programme (ICT-PSP) iii) Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE).
Criminal Justice: To promote judicial cooperation; compatibility in rules applicable in the Member States; improve contacts and exchange of information and best practices and improve mutual trust with a view to ensuring protection of rights of victims and of the accused.
Culture: To enhance the cultural area shared by Europeans, which is based on a common cultural heritage, through the development of cooperation activities among cultural operators, with a view to encouraging the emergence of European citizenship.
DAPHNE:To prevent and combat violence against children, young people and women and to protect victims and groups at risk.
Drug Prevention & Information: To prevent and reduce drug use, dependence and drug related harms; contribute to the improvement of information on the effects of drug use; support the implementation of the EU Drugs Strategy
EU – Canada Transatlantic Partnerships: To promote mutual understanding between the peoples of Canada and the EU including broader knowledge of their languages, cultures and institutions and to improve the quality of human resources in Canada and the EU by facilitating the acquisition of skills required to meet the challenges of the global knowledge-based economy.
Fundamental Rights & Citizenship: To promote the development of a European Society based on respect for fundamental rights; strengthen civil society; to fight against racism, xenophobia, and anti-semitism and to promote legal, judicial and administrative authorities and the legal professions, including support of judicial training.
Health: To improve citizens’ health and security; promote health, including the reduction of health inequalities and generate and disseminate health information and knowledge.
LIFE+: To contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental policy and legislation by co-financing pilot or demonstration projects with European added value.
Media: Focuses on activities before and after production in the audiovisual sector, offering support for training, project development, distribution and promotion. The Programme will also fund measures aimed at supporting digitisation and the changes it is making to the sector.
Prevention of & Fight Against Crime: As part of the general programme ‘Security and Safeguarding Liberties’ this Programme contributes to a high level of security for citizens by preventing and combating terrorism and crime, organised or otherwise.
Progress: Designed to work alongside ESF it supports the EU’s efforts to deliver growth and more jobs whilst fighting poverty and social exclusion.
Youth in Action: To promote young people’s active citizenship in general and their European citizenship in particular; to develop solidarity and promote tolerance among young people; to foster mutual understanding between young people in different countries; to contribute to developing the quality of support systems for youth activities and the capabilities of civil society organisations in the youth sector and to promote European cooperation in the youth sector.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism – Economic Research on Incentives for Efficient use of Preventive Services: This R01 funding opportunity announcement solicits applications for economic research on the role of incentive arrangements in promoting efficient use of preventive services and interventions, specifically considering both costs and health outcomes. NIH intends to commit approximately $1.6 million in fiscal year 2012 to fund approximately four awards. Application budgets are not limited, but need to reflect actual needs of the proposed project for the maximum project period of five years. Deadline 15.11.11
Healthy Ageing: Funding is available for innovative policies to support healthy, active and dignified ageing and raise the effectiveness and efficiency of spending on social, health and long-term care services and benefits. Deadline 26.09.11
ESF-LiU Travel Grants for Conference on Images & Visualisation – Imaging Technology, Truth and Trust: The conference, to be held from 17 to 21 September 2012 in Scandic Linköping Vast, Sweden, will bring together experts from across the natural and social science with curators, artists, producers and users of images based on advanced visual engineering, in order to explore challenges at the interface between science and visual art. Grants are available to cover conference fees and possible part travel costs for students and early stage researchers. Deadline 06.06.12
Culture Programme: The Culture Programme has been established to enhance the cultural area shared by Europeans, which is based on a common cultural heritage, through the development of cooperation activities among cultural operators from eligible countries, with a view to encouraging the emergence of European citizenship. The Programme is aimed at three specific objectives: promotion of the trans-national mobility of people working in the cultural sector; support for the trans-national circulation of cultural and artistic works and products; and promotion of inter-cultural dialogue. The Programme has a flexible, interdisciplinary approach and is focused on the needs expressed by cultural operators during the public consultations leading up to its design. Deadlines are: 15.09.11, 05.10.11, 16.11.11, 03.02.12, 03.05.12
The Culture Programme promotes transnational mobility of people working in the cultural sector and to promote intercultural dialogue. If you have contacts in this sector, this could be a key opportunity to collaborate and introduce yourself to EU funding. Calls for proposals are released on an annual basis and 3 calls are currently open under the ‘Cultural Service Teams, Youth Workers’
Multinational Cooperation Projects: Funds groups of cultural organisations to develop joint cultural activities over a period of three to five years. Projects will involve a minimum of 6 cultural operators from at least 6 eligible countries. The maximum funding per project is €500k and the deadline is 03.10.11
Cooperation Measures: Funds shorter and smaller-scale joint projects involving cultural organisations from at least three European countries. Projects can last up to 2 years and should involve at least 3 different European countries. Deadline 03.10.11
Support to European Cultural Festivals: funds festivals that support the circulation of cultural works from other European countries. Projects up to €100k are supported and the deadline is 15.11.11
The European Commission has announced that it is inviting applications through two funding strands under its Culture Programme. The two funding strands that are open to applications are Support to European Cultural Festivals and Cooperation Projects. Deadline: 15.11.11 (Festivals) and 01.10.11 (Cooperation Projects)